BNP Paribas Agrees to Record Penalty for Violating US Sanctions Laws

July 01, 2014

On June 30, 2014, BNP Paribas SA (“BNPP”), the largest bank in France, pled guilty to conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions laws and agreed to pay a total of nearly $8.9 billion in criminal forfeiture and penalties to the U.S. Government. The BNPP case represents the most significant action to date in the U.S. Government’s enforcement of U.S. sanctions laws against non-U.S. companies, not only because the fine is the largest ever imposed by the U.S. Government in connection with violations of sanctions laws, but also because it marks the first instance in which a non-U.S. bank has been required to accept a guilty plea in connection with settling charges of sanctions violations brought by the U.S. Government. This matter underscores the need for non-U.S. companies to be fully aware of their potential liability under such laws.

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